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Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’

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  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    tboo wrote: »
    yeah - nightmare

    I don't miss it one bit - although the ability to read the transactions and spot soft cash issues have saved my clients on a few occasions,
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • donnalove
    donnalove Posts: 574 Forumite
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    I rang my council about council tax disregard regarding SMI and they said they do just a carers discount and income discount.My daughters 22 on high pip for both.We were refused as they said although i am classed as her carer and entitled to the discount, there are 3 other adults in the house(hubby and eldest) Including my daughter who's SMI that are responsible for paying the council tax! They say SMI as they see it is only for people with dementia or alzheimer'a not people like my daughter that has global development delay and learning difficulties!My eldest daughter lives at home, she is on low dla at present(not changed over yet). I don't think they class her as SMI which confuses me. Any advice?
  • calcotti
    calcotti Posts: 15,696 Forumite
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    The SMI disregard, if applicable, means that person is ignored when deciding how many people live in a property. There is a 25% discount if the number of people counted is only one. In your case the number of people counted, even if your daughter is ignored, is more than one so no discount is applicable.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    donnalove wrote: »
    I rang my council about council tax disregard regarding SMI and they said they do just a carers discount and income discount.My daughters 22 on high pip for both.We were refused as they said although i am classed as her carer and entitled to the discount, there are 3 other adults in the house(hubby and eldest) Including my daughter who's SMI that are responsible for paying the council tax! They say SMI as they see it is only for people with dementia or alzheimer'a not people like my daughter that has global development delay and learning difficulties!My eldest daughter lives at home, she is on low dla at present(not changed over yet). I don't think they class her as SMI which confuses me. Any advice?


    There's nothing to stop your daughter qualifying providing she meets the SMI criteria (there are no 'specified illnesses or disabilites' but as mentioned above the disregard would would not give rise to a council tax discount. The council cannot set the criteria, it is set nationally, and it is a Dr who makes the determination on whether or not a person is SMI.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • Fishikiss
    Fishikiss Posts: 19 Forumite
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    Well i am still battling the council to be disregarded. The system they use is ridiculous. I have had to fill in 2 disregards as the first round went missing and never linked to my account even though it is all done on line and you have to put in the account number. I have been trying to get disregarded and SMI since around 4th May and all they do is make me fill something in online, chase them for ages and then they respond by mail for me to fill out something else. Surely this system is created to either drive people to distraction or to give up completely. Im getting so mad.:mad::mad::mad:
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    Fishikiss wrote: »
    Well i am still battling the council to be disregarded. The system they use is ridiculous. I have had to fill in 2 disregards as the first round went missing and never linked to my account even though it is all done on line and you have to put in the account number. I have been trying to get disregarded and SMI since around 4th May and all they do is make me fill something in online, chase them for ages and then they respond by mail for me to fill out something else. Surely this system is created to either drive people to distraction or to give up completely. Im getting so mad.:mad::mad::mad:


    The SMI disregard process is straight forward, it is the councils who make it difficult. I see it far too often in my line of work.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • Machine_Silver
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    I'm really sorry to hear that people are still having such poor service on this from some council's.


    I recently applied for an SMI discount for my mum and a Class J discount for myself, both with backdating to 2017. I found the local council department easy to phone and both of the staff I spoke to were helpful, well informed and compassionate as to our situation. The class J claim was processed and refunded in just a week without any queries and the SMI claim was done immediately mum's consultant signed the form. Both were calculated acurately and exactly as per expectation.


    I have to say I was expecting it to be much more difficult. What I would say is that I did my homework first on our exact entitlement (with help form this forum, Carers UK and Age UK) and then included a detailed covering letter with the forms giving complete disclosure of the dates and circumstances to support the claim. I'm not sure if this contributed to the speedy response but clearly, it did not hurt.


    I did take the opportunity to phone the council and thank them. I think it was important to do that as we are all quick to complain but not so quick to praise. They were really pleased and said they enjoy hearing about positive outcomes.


    It think this just goes to show that it can be done right with suitable management and staff training so the LA's who are messing people about really do need to pull their socks up. It would be better still though if, as Martin suggested, England set up a system similar to the one in Wales to address this issue.


    I wish everyone luck in pursuing their claims.
  • Fishikiss
    Fishikiss Posts: 19 Forumite
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    Chased the LA again and the disregard has gone missing again. Ive been told to just reapply again. I'm tired, angry and frustrated and cannot see a resolution that will happen anytime soon.
  • elmer
    elmer Posts: 916 Forumite
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    Have you sent a drs certificate and proof of entitlement to the qualifying benefit? If so ask them to process the exemption on the basis of an email request or get them to email you the form and hand it back into them.

    Is there a form for the occupied exemption on their website that you can print off?

    elmer
  • FairyG
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    Hi, I have a friend who has SMI, class U Exemption which was transferred to her new council when she moved house.
    Except now she is regularly sent letters from her new council requesting she send "proof of ongoing entitlement" by which they mean copies of recent benefits, or they threaten to take her entitlement away. There isn't enough capacity in her support package to keep sending these back every 6 months and I am worried her SMI will be stopped simply because she is unable to do the admin. Does anyone know if a council can just withdraw an SMI? It seems obtuse to me to expect someone with an SMI to have to keep responding to letters?
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